Friday, August 12, 2022  |



Alexander Povetkin’s “B” sample comes back positive for meldonium




Alexander Povetkin’s “B” sample came back positive on Thursday, news that may rouse the WBC to make a decision on whether to drop Povetkin from its heavyweight ratings and issue a suspension.

Povetkin’s “B” sample showed evidence of the banned substance meldonium, a source close to the situation told Povetkin’s “A” sample also tested positive for meldonium on April 27, causing his title fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder to be canceled on May 21 in Moscow. Meldonium can be used by athletes to increase endurance.

“I assumed it would come back positive,” promoter Lou DiBella, who works with Wilder, told on Thursday. DiBella lamented that on the same day the “B” sample came back, another fighter, Lucian Bute was found to have tested positive for Astatine following his draw with Badou Jack on April 30. “And you get word that Bute tested positive- obviously there’s a giant problem that has to be fixed,” added DiBella.

Despite the first positive test for Povetkin, which came to light on May 13, the WBC has kept Povetkin atop the ratings at No. 1 and has been quiet about any possible punishment. Meanwhile, the WBO dropped Povetkin from its rankings completely after the first test result.

On Thursday, in perhaps a sign it will issue a decision soon, the WBC acknowledged Povetkin’s “B” sample. “The WBC is continuing the process,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman wrote in an email to “Opening of (the) B sample is part of such a process. It just happened today. We will continue and the WBC will make a public statement in due time.”

The WBC provided a little clarity on Wednesday by announcing that Wilder (36-0, 35 knockouts) is free to make a voluntary defense of his title later this year. His camp is targeting late July for his return but a venue and a network deal still need to be worked out. A number of boxers, including Chris Arreola, are being considered as Wilder’s next opponent, a source told on Thursday night.

DiBella believes the WBC has acted appropriately in waiting for the “B” sample to come back before issuing a decision. He also applauded the WBC for partnering with VADA to encourage year-round, random drug testing for boxers rated in the Top 15 of each division.

“I think it’s obvious that one of the things they had to wait for was the “B” sample,” DiBella said. “I’m happy with a lot of the things the WBC is doing right now. The Clean Boxing Program — they appear to be taking the lead where other people aren’t. There are going to be some bumps in the road and certain things will take a while to figure out, but overall I’m pleased with the effort that Mauricio and the WBC is making to be an industry leader on this.”